Conscious shopping to hit record highs

Ethical consumerism is forecast to exceed £100 billion despite the disruption of coronavirus, and it is set to grow further in 2021.

According to a report by The Co-op, conscious buying will hit record highs as it continues to rise during the pandemic.

The supermarket retailer’s research showed that in 2021 a third of shoppers will aim to purchase more plant-based food, while 27 per cent plan to buy Fairtrade products.

A further 52 per cent said they would reduce single-use plastic consumption.

Co-op’s Ethical Consumerism Report, found that in the past year free range eggs account for the biggest shift in consumer spending on food and drink – up 15.2 per cent.

The purchase of plant-based products has also risen by around 11 per cent.

The biggest growth in ethical spending was in the hybrid and electric car market, with a 40 per cent increase, hitting more than £5 billion for the first time.

“The Co-op has tracked ethical spending for two decades and this barometer on ethical purchases shows a remarkable shift. Sustainable shopping has moved from being a niche market to an area of big spend,” said Jo Whitfield, chief executive, Co-op Food. “As growth continues, threats will naturally exist due to the economic impact of the pandemic, but through a challenging environment, opportunities will open up.”

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